It’s one of the most difficult perspectives you and I must adopt in job search: Time is your most valuable asset.
It sounds crazy, as it feels completely the opposite; given the long days you have during search.
Let me share a few observations about time, from my own search, and how not managing this valuable asset will impact the time you spend in search.
3 – 4 Hours: Time dedicated per ineffective networking meeting. Add up the time for the following actions: Get the contact, set up the meeting, prepare to meet, travel to meeting, meeting, travel home and follow-up.
These hours were ineffective, when I allowed myself to ‘just’ network and not really have a good plan on how we could mutually benefit from meeting. I know there is always the ‘wild card’ that the person will have a good connection, but generally this is not the case.
15 – 20 Hours: Time dedicated per chasing job opportunity where I had limited chance. Time used: Researching the opportunity, preparing your submission, finding contacts in the company, preparing for the interview, travel to interview, interview(s), travel back home, and follow-up.
Before investing in time to pursue a role where you partially match the company’s needs, try to figure out if you have a realistic chance (use your network to help). Due to connection, I made the final round on a couple roles, but from the start I had a limited chance. Yet, I dedicated time as though I did, because I did not assess the opportunity due to have a good connection.
The ugly math: Chasing three clunker networking meetings and a ‘poor fit’ role will cost you 24 – 32 hours of time that could be used toward finding a job. The amount of time could be easily more, especially with interviews.
The simple solution: Make a plan for every week (See Tools You Need - for “Organizing Your Search Week”) and then rate the value of each meeting (See “Daily Point System”). Even if you don’t want to track points, use the tool to help you judge the value of a meeting.
Time is your primary investment during search. Invest wisely.
Good luck this week.